May 2023: Being Steadfast (Turn #1 When You Want To Turn Back)

There will be a time where you will want to stop. I will not lie to you.

There will be times where stopping would be sexier than continuing ever could be. Yet, The Turn is going to determine what it is you are going to do next honestly. I will tell you this one thing. If you stop now, the story (no pun intended) will end right there.

Right there. Right now.

And how you handle The Turn, or a potential turn, is how you will continue. You must determine if you want to continue! The Turn (or the ghost thereof) is not bad in and of itself. It is something that you need to realize which is a reality.

A Turn is neutral. It is your reaction that will make it positive or negative.

Turns are watershed moments which invite you to look within you, to pull something else out–or to show you that nothing else is there. If there be something else in you that cannot relinquish this art, that cannot bear to keep silent, then do not turn back.

Dare to continue.

Stop at the pitstop and get gas–and keep going.

“So, I started a podcast…”

Season 1, Episode 1 started 4 years ago today in a basement of a rehabilitation facility.

I had no idea what I was doing, or how long I would be doing it.

This podcast has introduced poets, intellectuals, put people on to indie authors, and been encouraging to others.

Today, I am proud of me. I am celebrating!

I am owning every space I am in, writing my way in and out, bringing other people with me. I’m grateful for that.

And as of this morning?

There are 184 episodes.

A Black woman did this.

A Black woman writer did this.

…that’s flex all by itself.

Encouragement Pages: 05/10/2023

Note: Look for more about The Turnback later this month. -JBH

The Turnback.

No writer really wants to talk about that.

This is the point where we want to abandon the work, think the work is horrible, or see no use in going for it.

It is crazy to think about something that you have worked so hard on that you would scrap! It happen more often than you think.

There are some things that you may have to scrap, and there are some things that you may have to write through.

Before you ‘turnback’, think of these three things:

1.) If I give this more time, can I write more?

2.) If I rewrite this, will it be better?

3.) Why do I want to scrap this? If so, tell yourself why.

Before your delete the work, ask yourself these questions.

With Love & Ink,


May 2023: Being Steadfast (Turn #1 When You Want To Turn Back)

My first turn was soon after the first time I published my first book of poetry: LOVE SONGS OF THE UNREQUITED.

I wasn’t taught alot about marketing, making a social media presence, or developing an audience. Yet, all the great things that are happening to me at this point was trial and error.

Sometimes that is great–sometimes that is a detriment.

Yet when my first book wasn’t an instant smash, I could have stopped. But I didn’t.

I could have stopped when my first book signing that was self-funded, wasn’t as great as I wanted–I could have stopped. But I didn’t.

Not because I’m not talent, but because it was hard. It is hard.

It is that hardness, that difficulty, that is enough to make anyone stop. Yet, I did not. I could not! I wanted to see how this would shake out! I wanted to see what could happen. The curiosity of the continue make me think that I might be able to do this if I could just keep going. If I could figure this out, if I could make this my own–if I could just figure out HOW to keep going–then I would.

With my Turn–I had to push past doubt to keep going.

The Turn will demand that you believe the fear–or the fact (that you might be able to do this if you keep going).

May 2023: Being Steadfast (Turn #1: When You Want To Turn Back)

If writers are honest, we will tell you that there are instances which provoke us to stop.

If we are honest, we will tell you of the instance where people didn’t believe in us, deterred us, and wanted us to “do something safer.”

Yet, we do not.

Yet, every writer–whether they are traditionally published, or selling books out of the back of their trunks–have stories (multiple stories!) about how they almost quite, should have quit, and secretly wished they had at points.

Which, brings us to this idea–or warning.


“The Turn” is the pivot point by which writer must confront in order to realize what they have in the tank to finish, not just a work–but this journey.

“The Turn” will teach you more than success ever will.

Encouragement Pages 4/28/2023

The writing you have to do is because you want to do it!

Writing is one of those things which are both solid and fluid. It can be done at any time, any where, and even with anyone! And for that cause, for that reason, it is the thing by which grants unnamed people immortality or grants hope to other places.

Write because you want to.

Write because you need to.

Write because…you can’t help it.

You can do it. You must.

With Love & Ink,


April 2023: REVAMPING

As of This year, I am in my 8th year of indie writing, blogging, and authorship.

Has it been easy? Of course not!

Yet, what has allowed me to keep going, to trust in my talent, and make in-roads for myself (and others) is my ability to revamp my approaches or content, and pivot when need be and necessary.

Why, this blog happened because I saw a need, and sought to fulfill it. While there are other writers who do what I do, only I can do it like me–to the tune of over 1000 posts at this point (I’m pretty proud of that!).

Yet, the most crucial tool that I can use, and use often is revamping. I often look at what I am doing that is working, what isn’t working, and what I need to do better.

In order to do what I love to do, which is write, I need to be able to look at what I am doing not just as an artist–but an adult! I still have a life outside of words! Since I have other responsibilities, I have to build like around those also.

Revamping is a tool–and a necessity.